Pethe Ka Halwa or Pumpkin Pudding is an Indian dessert made using very few ingredients like Pumpkin, sugar, cardamom, ghee (clarified butter) and dry fruits. I like to call this a healthy Dessert....why? Reason is although clarified butter gives the halwa a nice and rich taste you can still cook it in very little ghee and sugar and it will still taste yumm. In fact depending on how sweet your pumpkin is you may not really need that much sugar. So a complete win-win for all the dessert lovers. Also you can enjoy this sweet during fasts just avoid the black cardamom.
I have used Pressure cooker to cook the pumpkin but you can also use a vessel to do so. Pressure cooking just quickens the whole process and hence my preference. You can either grate the pumpkin or cut it in cubes like I have for this recipe. I prefer to go with cubes because when you pressure cook the pumpkin will turn so soft that when you stir it will automatically get mashed and give the perfect texture for halwa.
Now to the recipe...
1-2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) Or use regular butter
1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
1kg (2pounds)Red pumpkin (skin peeled and cut in cubes)
½ cup sugar (or to taste)
dry fruits couple of tablespoon each (roughly chopped) - cashews, almonds and raisin or any of choice
pinch of cardamom powder (optional)
In a cooker pressure, heat ghee and add the black cardamom. When it sizzles add the diced pumpkin. Close the lid and give one whistle on high heat . Once the steam goes away, open the lid and simmer on medium low till the water evaporates (approx 30 to 45 mins). Stir occassionally to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. While stiring the pumpkin will slowly get mashed which is what we want.
Now add the sugar and mix well. At this point the mixture will ooze water again. Add the dry fruits (reserving some for garnishing) and cardamom powder and simmer till the water completely evaporates. The mixture will start oozing ghee from sides and will turn slightly dark, that's when we know our halwa is ready
That's it our Pumpking Halwa is ready. Garnish with some dry fruits and serve this delicious dessert just on it own or with a dollop of ice-cream, Enjoy